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July 23 2014

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The Science Of Shoes

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Up-and-comer Raphael Young throws around a handful of adjectives when describing his footwear—rock ‘n’ roll, punk, haute couture—but they’re all just dressing for the main modifier: sexy. “Women are the fantasy of men,” Young, who hails from Paris, told Style.com. “But the relationship isn’t reciprocal. The woman is dominant.” With this righteous imbalance in mind, Young’s A/W 2009 collection—which will be on view today through March 8 at Tranoï in the Carrousel du Louvre—of metallic-finished, aluminum-heeled shoes and boots looks like urban armor, weapons you can wear out to dinner. Though vertiginous, Young insists his wares won’t leave women longing for flats. After all, the designer also has a physics degree—for him, equilibrium is as important as aesthetics. “There are over 50 components that go into making the shoe,” he explained. “It’s a very long process. They’re actually quite comfortable.” Young, who has collaborated with Louise Goldin and Manish Arora and spent two years designing under Yves Saint Laurent, finds as much inspiration in Art Nouveau and comic books as he does in the battle of the sexes. Just don’t expect him to exploit the retro stylings of yesteryear anytime soon. “I wanted something futuristic,” he says of his latest outing. “You have to think about what women will be wearing 40, 50 years from now.” Long live Raphael Young.

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